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"We've got to change the mindset"


Opening statement:"Again about the game yesterday, I don't know that I have to rehash everything that we talked about last night after the game. Ultimately what I thought this game boiled down to is: They ran the ball on us when they wanted to run the ball on us. That's a mentality. We've got to change that. We've got to be better there. Third down is an area that we've got to continue to work to improve on. We were not very good on offense on third down. They were very good offensively on third down. Kept drives alive, won the time of possession battle because they were able to run the football, because they were able to convert third downs. We've got to get out to a faster start. Defensively, we've given up points on the first drive and that's got to stop. We've got to come out faster. We've got to play better early in the game. Obviously, the turnovers were a critical factor in the game. You're looking at a 14 to nothing game moving the ball into scoring territory. You throw an interception, they throw it back to the 20 or 30 yard line and put themselves in field goal position. It totally changes the momentum of the game. If you're able to punch that in and get some points on the board there, there's a different feel about that football game. Lot of things that we have to get corrected. Lot of things that we've got to get better at. It's time for us to do it. Talk's cheap. We need to make improvement and we need to make improvement fast. I did see some positive things in the game. I still continue to see a lot of growth out of Derek Carr. I think he's going to be something special. We need to continue to have guys to be able to step up around him to help him. I thought I saw an improvement up front, offensively. We went into a game plan and said we needed to take J.J. Watt out of the game and I thought, for the most part, we were able to do that, with the exception of the one play late in the game. I thought we were able to run the ball effectively. We averaged 5.9 per rushing attempt. I thought that was a positive. Obviously I thought defensively, after the first two drives, we kind of settled down a little bit and played a little bit better. We got put in some tough situations as the game went on, but I thought we played a little bit better defensively. Still not up to the standard that we've got to play at. Like I said, we've got a lot of getting better to do. We need to do that quickly. It starts this week."


Q: After the game, Charles Woodson said flat out "we suck." Is that disappointing to hear from a veteran that is supposed to help keep this team together?**

Coach Allen:"I think that's something that is spoken out of frustration. When you watch Charles Woodson play in that game and the effort that he gave in that game and the passion in which he played in that game, it's a tough pill to swallow. When you go out there and don't perform like you're capable of performing. He gave everything he had in that game and we have to get more guys playing like that." Q: How do you go about getting the answer when you, as a coach, put in all the hours that you have so you think you have that covered… then it has to go down to if you're happy with all of the players you have. So, what is the answer? How do you go about finding that?

Coach Allen:"Here's what we've got to do: We've got to change the mindset." Q: But this is the third year. Hadn't you changed the mindset before?

Coach Allen:"It's obviously not where it needs to be yet. You can't allow a team to just run the football down the field on you. That has to change. Like I told the players today, run defense is a mentality. Run defense is about lining up across from somebody, hitting them in the mouth, knocking them back, getting off a block, and making a play. That's what run defense is all about. Until we get to that point, where we understand that, then we're not going to be very good at run defense."

Q: So, is it about changing it again? Or is it keep hammering the point?

Coach Allen:"You've got to continue to hammer the point. This is a totally new group than the group that we had last year. It's a totally new group than the group that we had the year before. We've got to get a better mindset that we're going to go out and try to dominate. The playing, letting a team run up and down the field on you early in the game is not acceptable."

Q: The veterans that you brought in were brought in to change that mindset in the offseason. Why has that not …

Coach Allen:"I think it's a process that takes some time. I don't care how many veterans you have. These guys have to learn to play together. Changing that thought process and that mentality, that ultimately resides in me in getting able to get that done. We're two games into the season. We've got 14 games left. We need to improve. We need to get better. It's going to start this week."

Q: What do you see in terms of run defense? Are they not playing assignment-sound? Are they getting pushed around some?

Coach Allen:"Probably a little bit of both. We've got to do a better job fundamentally of getting off of blocks and being able to make plays when we get the opportunity. Then, we've got to do a better job of making sure that we're fitting everything exactly right. We'll look at that this week and we'll make sure that we're putting guys in the right positions and get them coached up and play better run defense."

Q: You guys weren't blitzing a lot. Is that because of your faith in the front four? Is that something you question now?

Coach Allen:"No, I don't look back on it and question it. We're going to do what we feel like is going to give us an opportunity to have success. Blitzing isn't necessarily the way to stop the run game. You actually open yourself up to a few more things when you begin to do that to stop the run. You need to be able to play base-defense to stop the run."

Q: I wasn't talking about stopping the run, I just meant in general why you guys had changed your philosophy from last year to this year, if it's because of the front four you have in place?

Coach Allen:"I think when you go back and you look … We may not be bringing the different numbers of guys. I think each game plan is going to be different. You're going to look at each game plan and each one is doing to be different."

Q: With the inability to stop the run, can you anticipate that teams are going to keep coming at you?

Coach Allen:"I would. Until we prove that we can stop it, you're going to keep seeing it. We've got to prove we can stop it."

Q: Any updates on Rod Streater or Sio Moore?

Coach Allen:"Both of them had an MRI today. I haven't gotten the results back on that. Nothing new since last night."

Q: Do you expect Nick Roach to be back this week?

Coach Allen:"I have no idea."


Q: What did you see in Derek Carr during the evaluation process and what have you seen from him now? To what do you attribute his pocket presence, his command of the huddle, where does it come from?**

Coach Allen:"I think he's just been around the game for a long time. I think I would attribute some of that to watching his brother play in the National Football League and spending some extra time with him. I think he does a great job understanding protections. He's obviously a very talented player. He's going to do nothing but get better. I've seen this guy grow in leaps and bounds and I think he's got a chance to be a special player."

Q: What was his mistake on the first interception?

Coach Allen:"You know, it's kind of a little combination of you'd like for Mychal Rivera to kind of bend that thing back in a little bit, and I think some of it is just getting used to … Derek does a pretty good job of getting back, getting set up to deliver the ball on time and delivering the ball with accuracy. I think that's part of those guys working together to understand exactly where you've got to be on each play."

Q: How do you address inexplicable errors, like the one from James Jones and the one from Rivera, two sure-handed guys that just leave the ball on the ground?

Coach Allen:"We've got to have respect for the football. We're not good enough to overcome those types of mistakes. We've got to do a better job of protecting the football. It's got to start in practice. We've got to do a better job of emphasizing it, making that point. Players have to do a better job of taking it to heart and making sure we practice better ball security because if you turn the ball over four times, you're not going to win very many games."

Q: Going through the process that you do after every game, I wonder if there are more meetings with Reggie McKenzie or perhaps Mark Davis, or do you guard against making too much out of it?

Coach Allen:"There hasn't been anything, any more than what we would normally do. Again, like I said, we're two weeks into the season. At the same time, you don't want to bury your head in the sand. We've got to get better. We need to do it fast."

Q: Can you get that accomplished with the group of guys you have here or do you need more help from elsewhere?

Coach Allen:"There are no saviors that come in during this time of year. We can get it accomplished with the guys that we have here. We need to do that."

Q: Nineteen snaps for Marcel Reece. You paid him a lot of money last year to come back and be the leader of the team. Can you get him the ball more often? Do you want to try to do that?

Coach Allen:"Yeah, that's something that you always look at. Again, you can't always dictate, especially in the passing game … There were a couple of plays that we dialed up for him to hopefully get the football. It didn't work that way. We'll go back and look at it. Marcel's a player that we think can help us. We'll try to use him the best that we can and give us a chance to have success."

Q: Are guys on defense going for the fumble at the cost of tackling sometimes?

Coach Allen:"That's showed up a couple of times. Really, the breakdowns in the run defense starts up front with the front seven. Too many times the ball is getting back to the third level of the defense, back on the safeties and corners. We need to stop that on the first level of the defense."

Q: You talk about the run defense being a mindset, but maybe third down defense as well. It seems like you guys have down a decent job of getting third-down-and-six-or-more without…

Coach Allen:"We've gotten them to third down, and in the game the other day we got them to third down and we had some opportunities to make some plays. We were in position to make some plays and we didn't make them. Sometimes, they make the play and you don't. We've got to go back and try to look and see what we can do to help our guys be able to finish the play a little better. Give them some credit, the touchdown in the third quarter, I thought Chimdi [Chekwa] was in good position. I thought they made a hell of a throw and catch on that particular play. One of the early third downs in the game, we tipped the ball and they ended up catching it for a first down, so that was a little bit of kind of a fluke play. We've got to be able to get off the field on third down. We've played probably 30-40 extra plays in the last couple of games just because we haven't gotten off the field on third down."

Q: I know you work with [defensive coordinator] Jason Tarver on the play-calling. Do you get more involved at this point?

Coach Allen:"I think we're going to look at whatever we have to do to get it fixed."

Q: Do you think you'll be mixing up the personnel a little more?

Coach Allen:"I think we're going to look at everything."

Q: Could you take a greater role in actually calling plays?

Coach Allen:"We're going to look at everything and see what we've got to do to make sure we play better."

Q: So, that's an option?

Coach Allen:"We haven't talked about it. I feel confident in the guys that I have calling plays, but we're going to look at everything."

Q: What happened on the J.J. Watt touchdown?

Coach Allen:"We missed it. We kind of knew it was coming. It was just poor execution on our part. We just didn't execute."

Q: How did you think [Darren] McFadden did yesterday?

Coach Allen:"I thought he ran the ball hard. I thought he looked explosive. That was good to see. Hopefully we'll be able to continue to get him more opportunities."

Q: Did you guys bring in Vincent Brown today?

Coach Allen:"I'm not going to get into personnel issues."

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